ARIZONA NEWS

Pilot had cocaine in system at time of fatal Scottsdale crash, autopsy finds

Jun 27, 2018, 7:05 PM | Updated: Jun 28, 2018, 8:20 am
Police tape cordons off an area near the site of a plane crash that killed several people Tuesday, ...

Police tape cordons off an area near the site of a plane crash that killed several people Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in Scottsdale. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — One of the two pilots aboard a small plane that crashed at the TPC Scottsdale golf club in April, killing all six people aboard, had cocaine in his system, according to autopsy results.

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office said a student pilot and a certified airline transport pilot both were seated in the front of the 1970 Piper PA-24, but did not disclose who was flying the plane or why it crashed.

The small plane left nearby Scottsdale Airport on April 9 and hit the ground on the Champions Course shortly after takeoff, bursting into flames.

The victims were identified as Erik Valente, James Louis Pedroza, Mariah Sunshine Coogan, Anand Anil Patel, Helena Lagos and Iris Carolina Rodriguez Garcia.

They were all between the ages of 22 and 28.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s final report on the crash isn’t expected until next year.

A preliminary report by the NTSB days said surveillance video showed the plane struggled to gain altitude on departure.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A bartender at Hops & Barley brewpub pours a pint of beer on November 12, 2013 in Berlin, Germa...
KTAR.com

‘Real Wild and Woody’ festival hits Bell Bank Park in August

Beer enthusiasts can celebrate 30 years of craft beer in Arizona with the "Real Wild and Woody" beer festival coming to Bell Bank Park on Aug. 6.
1 day ago
(Twitter Photo/@GlendaleFire)...
KTAR.com

Glendale fire personnel respond to 3 blazes believed to be firework-related

Glendale firefighters responded to three fires, all of which are believed to be firework-related in a span of 12 hours, authorities said.
1 day ago
Two cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in a rain curtain at sunset in Avra Valley, silhouetting a lo...
Alex Weiner

Hiking safety during the warmest, stormiest summer months in Arizona

It’s the time when a day will seldom have temperatures under triple digits, but it does not mean Phoenicians cannot venture onto trails.
1 day ago
(KTAR News Photo/Torrence Dunham)...
KTAR.com

City of Phoenix adds 12 weeks of paid parental leave for employees

The city of Phoenix announced on Friday it would begin providing paid parental leave to some employees starting in the fall.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Dave & Buster's)...
KTAR.com

Dave & Buster’s coming to Queen Creek Marketplace

Queen Creek Marketplace announced Thursday that Dave & Buster’s has begun construction on a new location at the East Valley shopping center.
1 day ago
The late Sen. John McCain and former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords were selected to receive the Presiden...
KTAR.com

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from July 1-3

Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Pilot had cocaine in system at time of fatal Scottsdale crash, autopsy finds